Currents | November 2023

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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November 2023

2023 November HeaderYou’re invited to our Annual General Meeting on November 30! Our AGM is where we reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, recognize the recipient of our Annual Environmental Stewardship and Involvement Award, as well as the winners of Clean Your Streams Challenges, and conduct organizational business, including the election of the Board of Directors.

We’re hosting our annual meeting at W.W. Knight Preserve in Perrysburg. Doors open at 5:30pm for dinner, refreshments, and conversation. The official meeting will begin at 6:00pm. Check our website calendar and social media for a link to RSVP later this month.

If you’d like to lend us your expertise and vision by joining our Board of Directors, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Board nominations will also be accepted at the meeting. If you’re interested in getting to vote for our Board and you’re not yet a PCS general member, you can donate to become a member today.

StewardshipCommunity Water Action in Toledo (CWAT) has wrapped up its first PCS-coordinated volunteer water quality monitoring season. Learn what volunteers have accomplished so far.

Flowing across an April-October season, the CWAT program allows PCS to coordinator partner organizations’ water monitoring programs by sharing training resources, engaging in volunteer outreach, aligning sampling protocols, and evaluating program success. Kat Kieffer, our Water Monitoring Coordinator Intern, works at the nexus of CWAT’s partnerships. This year, water monitoring volunteers came from Metroparks Toledo, TMACOG’s Student Watershed Watch program, and the Toledo Zoo’s ZOOTeens.

In its inaugural season, CWAT created six shared sampling kits, collectively identified waterway sites to sample, engaged partner organizations’ volunteers and staff in monitoring 18 local sites, sampled each site at least once a month with many sampled twice a month, and shared data in the online Water Reporter database. CWAT engaged more than 60 volunteers in over 100 sampling events, with additional outreach programs demoing CWAT to local youth in Girl Scouts and Connections Camp participants.

Sites were chosen to be representative of different major waterways across our region, and to have diverse characteristics (upstream/downstream, urban/rural, etc.). Another important consideration was ease of access for volunteers, both in terms of sampling on public land but also safety of embankments. Some sites were chosen because they had a years-long history of sampling by partner organizations.

A ZOOTeen mentor shared her success story from frequent participants. She explained that over the course of the summer, visiting sites once or twice a month, the youth volunteers who have done regular monitoring have become familiar with the sites. “They will say, ‘Oh, this is definitely higher than base flow’ or ‘The water looks foamier than usual’ or notice new driftwood or log snags.” These volunteers are engaged and observant, and even across one season, having regular eyes on the waterways has helped them develop a sense of place and ownership.

How do we expect CWAT to grow next year? The biggest way is that we will begin to open up this program to more public volunteers. We also anticipate developing more accessible ways to see the data that’s been collected, so that anyone can learn about the health of our waterways. We expect to increase the rate of sampling, since CWAT already surpassed our initial goal of sampling all sites once a month, with the majority of sites sampled twice a month. And finally, we hope to include new partners to expand this program’s geographic reach, particularly along the Portage River.

Keep an eye on our website, social media, and newsletter for updates in the spring on this opportunity.

StewardshipFor 27 years, we’ve been amazed by our volunteers’ determined water stewardship during Clean Your Streams. We’re proud to present their results with a full breakdown of the citizen science data collected this year.

Clean Your Streams is a watershed clean-up program where volunteers remove trash and record citizen science data on the items they collect. CYS is the largest cleanup in Ohio that contributes marine debris data to the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) database. Volunteers impact watersheds across our region, including the Ottawa River, Swan Creek, Maumee River, and Maumee Bay tributaries. Over the past 27 years of CYS, more than 16,250 volunteers have removed approximately 397,600 pounds of marine debris.

Like the last few years, the most frequently removed items from Northwest Ohio’s waterways were #1 food wrappers, #2 cigarette butts, and #3 plastic beverage bottles. Unusual finds this year included a message in a bottle, turtle-shaped sandbox, hot tub cover, bar stool, bowling ball, coffee table, plastic Christmas tree, and, puzzlingly, an inner tube full of bricks.

Total Impact of Remote and In-Person Kickoffs

Volunteers: 723
Sites cleaned: 70
Pounds of marine debris removed: 14,957
River miles: 37

Check out our full CYS 27 Fact Sheet and downloadable Infographic for more photos and information!

CYS 27 Infographic

StewardshipHelp your waterways by donating to a charity that works every day to educate, lead volunteers, and provide direction towards cleaner waterways to local cities! This year, #GivingTuesday is November 28 and Partners for Clean Streams will once again be participating!

#GivingTuesday is a global movement to give back to charities that help make communities better places to live, work, and play. In our case, donations made during #GivingTuesday will help us to better support our year-round waterway stewardship, education, and outreach efforts.

There are easy four ways to contribute:

1. Donate online through our secure PayPal account.

2. Mail a check to Partners for Clean Streams (P.O. Box 203, Perrysburg, OH 43552) with #GivingTuesday in the memo line.

3. Contribute to our programs through your everyday shopping via the Kroger Community Rewards

4. Consider getting involved with workplace giving via our partnership with Northwest Ohio Community Shares.

Our donors inspire us and fuel the work we do. Please consider supporting your waterways by making Partners for Clean Streams a part of your seasonal giving.

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe